Umm, well, yes

We all get the point of military of diplomatic peeps getting rent allowances and all that. The career path, the norm in fact, is to be moving every couple of years. Sometimes moving continent – one three year period for Worstall pere saw jobs in London, Wash DC and Naples.

The same system of allowances for those who stay in the same place for 30 years?

Some staff have worked overseas for 30 years and live a lifestyle which meets the income they have been earning for decades. At present a British head gardener working overseas on a salary of £27,000 also receives in the region of €1,900 a month (€22,800 a year) in overseas living allowances covering rent, living costs and payment for being away from family in the UK.

It’s a little more difficult to justify those allowances, really.

14 thoughts on “Umm, well, yes”

  1. Bizarre, standard practice for international banks is overseas assignment (with various allowances, perks etc.) for up to 2 years, then either come home or get “localised”.

  2. Why does a gardener or a stonemason (even a head gardener or head stonemason) need to be from the UK rather than a local? Given that the CWGC is part funded by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India and South Africa, perhaps they’d like a say on where their money is being wasted.

  3. Got some family experience of this.

    The overseas allowances for military are far far smaller than they used to be. With the key exception of boarding school subsidy. Being a military officer isn’t a bad job but it’s nowhere near what it used to be, unless you get up to General levels where there may be some grace and favour housing elements.

    Diplomats seem to have hung onto their perks much better. Equivalent grade diplomat to my relative (we knew a couple well) got a much better house, a housework allowance, a catering allowance (once a month if two foreign diplomats invited) and a free dinner service to serve it on. Supposedly it’s because they were entertaining on official business but there appeared to be a merry-go-round of buffets for the diplomats to make the most if it.

    Most non-diplomatic staff at embassies are local in fact. To an extent it seems a bit odd to me, given security issues. But my experience is that most people in a embassy aren’t doing especially important work, except the few that are. Also the quality of embassy work is highly variable. I’ve been to US embassies where I got the feeling they were running the country on some levels, and others where they had to ask me what was going on outside the compound.

  4. “Diplomats seem to have hung onto their perks much better.”

    Given that their job is smarming the locals and getting away with murder, it would be quite surprising if they hadn’t…

  5. My neighbour is the daughter of a career diplomat. She never learned to cook because the family was always provided with a cook, together with staff to wait at the table.

  6. Bernie
    She never learned to cook because the family was always provided with a cook, together with staff to wait at the table.

    Never marry a rich girl from a poor country. They haven’t got a clue about anything.

  7. I would be very surprised if any gardener wasn’t locally employed

    In my experience nearly all embassy staff are locally employed people along with a small number of diplomats’ partners

  8. I’ve never had any international allowances other than “LOA” (local overseas allowance), which can be quite a lot of money in some locations, but I’ve never stayed abroad for an extended period unless serving in a war zone. However, we did a few audit jobs in Saudi where, for security reasons (or summat) you were accommodated in villas rather than hotels. There, the transit villa was provided with a driver and a cook and, on one memorable trip, a maid.

    Who was so horrified (probably not without cause, albeit somewhat overly paranoid in our particular cases) by the arrival of 4 or 5 hairy officers, with no western women to take charge of us, that she barricaded herself in her detached accommodation (driver & cook stayed elsewhere) and only emerged to clean when we were safely @ work.

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    Like SE we only got LOA which was a cost of living allowance so you could have the same standard of living as UK. It changed regularly to reflect the exchange rate because unlike Americans we used local currency, even in the NAAFI.

    In Germany it took in to account that we got duty free cigs, booze and a duty free fuel ration. In Cyprus the exchange rate meant we got quite a high allowance but we didn’t get duty free goods.

  10. Once when I went abroad I drew a UK salary and an Aussie half-salary, and paid income tax on neither. Travel costs were paid for me but not for the family.

    That was one of the few times I hired an accountant to do my tax returns. He even recommended that I make UK pension contributions on the Aussie income. So I did and stuck all the money into Far Eastern equities. Oh happy days.

  11. Allthegoodnamesaretaken

    Andrew M
    December 21, 2020 at 5:48 pm
    No such thing as a permanent job these days; even in government.

    Just how dismal does your performance have to be to get sacked from the public sector?

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